The first written mention of the Levoča village under the name Leucha comes from 1249. The settlement, due to its advantageous location at the trade rout Via Magna, became the main centre of German colonisation in Spiš, and in 1271 - the capital of the Spiš Saxons Community. In 1323 the settlement became a free royal city.
The world-famous altar made of Slovak lime
The focal point of the square market is the St. Jacob Church from the 14. century, with the interior decorated with 11 Gothic and Renaissance altars. The main wooden altar at St. Jacob's is the highest such structure in the world. It was sculpted in the lime wood in the years 1507-1571 at the workshop of Master Paul of Levoča.
“Cage of shame” for the shameless
The market is surrounded by over 50 original bourgeois and patrician houses, i.e. Thurzo house with a Renaissance attic, Krupko house with Renaissance paintings on the facade and the house of Master Paul of Levoča, now a museum. The most intriguing element is the so-called Cage of shame from 16. century, which was used for public stigmatizations in the past.
Each year, at the beginning of July, Levoča becomes a destination of the biggest Slovak pilgrimage. The faithful climb the Marian Hill in long rows to thank the Holy Mother during a service held in the neogothic Visitation Church from the beginning of the 20. century.
In 1950 the historic city center of Levoča was announced the urban monumental complex and in 2009 Levoča made the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List of UNESCO.
Attractions in the area: Master Paul of Levoča House, Museum of Special Education, St. Jacob Church, Spiš Museum in Levoča